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A Matlab/Simulink framework for PLC controlled processes

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A Matlab/Simulink framework for PLC controlled processes
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  A Matlab/Simulink Framework for PLC Controlled Processes211 X A Matlab/Simulink framework for PLC controlled processes  João Martins and Celson Lima CTS, UNINOVA, Departamento de Engenharia Electrotécnica, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Portugal Herminio Martínez and Antoni Grau College of Industrial Engineering of Barcelona (EUETIB), U.E. d’Electrònica Industrial Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) Spain 1. Introduction Relevant literature recognises that the practical test of an automation and control process controlled by programmable logic controllers (PLC) is a well-known problem [1-3]. There are several solutions that can be implemented, such as scale models, batteries of led’s and switches and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, or simulation tools. The use of scale models of real processes is very expensive and difficult to adapt to different processes. There is no question that this is the best way to teach PLC controlled process, allowing project testing in an almost real environment, however their cost often prohibits its use. The use of leds and switches sets is extremely confusing end uninteresting. This approach, only valid when small processes are considered, severely reduces the motivation. Some HMI and SCADA systems allow this feature but there are very expensive, not intended for this purpose and usually consider property protocols. The use of Matlab ® /Simulink ®  [4] has not been a regular approach for teaching industrial automation and PLC controlled processes. Assuming that the model of the industrial process is implemented in the Matlab/Simulink, this chapter presents a tool that can be used to implement the PLC control program in Matlab/Simulink environment. The basic idea is to consider the PLC control program as a Matlab function block, within the Matlab/Simulink environment, that will control the model of the industrial process as long as the simulation runs. The main objective of the work described in this chapter is to automatically translate the PLC control program, written as an instruction list, into Matlab/Simulink software language.   11 www.intechopen.com  Matlab - Modelling, Programming and Simulations212   2. State-of-the-art Although  programmable logic controllers  (PLC) have many definitions, one can affirm that they are solid-state members of the computer family, using integrated circuits instead of electromechanical devices to implement control functions. They can be thought of in simple terms as industrial computers with specially designed architecture in both their central units (the PLC brain) and their input/output (I/O) interfacing circuitry with the real world. PLCs are capable of storing instructions, such as sequencing, timing, counting, logic, arithmetic, data manipulation, and communication, to control industrial machines and processes [5]. Fig. 1 shows a conceptual diagram of a PLC application. Process or machine Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Control signals or actions  Measure signals  Field inputs  Field outputs Fig. 1. Conceptual diagram of a PLC application.   The Hydramatic Division of the General Motors Corporation specified the design criteria for the first programmable controller in 1968. Their primary goal was to eliminate the high costs associated with inflexible, relay controlled systems. The specifications required a solid-state system with computer flexibility to survey in an industrial environment, be easily programmable and maintained by plant engineers and technicians, and be reusable. The first PLC had its first product models in 1969. These early controllers met the srcinal specifications and opened the doors to the development of a new control technology. PLCs provided an easy way to reprogram the wiring rather than actually rewiring the control system. The first PLCs offered relay functionality, thus replacing the srcinal hardwired relay logic. Notice that they were more or less just relay replacers: Their primary functions were to perform the sequential operations that were previously implemented with relays (ON/OFF control of machines and processes that required repetitive operations, such as transfer lines and grinding and boring machines). However, the first programmable controllers were a vast improvement over relays: They were easily installed, used considerably less space and energy, had diagnostic indicators that aided troubleshooting, and unlike relays, were reusable if a project should be modified. 2.1 Today’s Programmable Logic Controllers Many technological advances in the programmable controller industry continue today. These advances not only affect programmable controller design, but also the philosophical approach to control system architecture and programming. In fact, changes include both hardware (physical components) and software (control program) upgrades. Thus, the following list describes some recent PLC hardware enhancements: www.intechopen.com  A Matlab/Simulink Framework for PLC Controlled Processes213      Faster scan times are being achieved using new, advanced microprocessor and electronic technology.    Small, low-cost PLCs, which can replace four to ten relays, now have more power than their predecessor, the simple relay replacer.    High-density input/output (I/O) systems provide space-efficient interfaces at low cost.    Intelligent, microprocessor-based I/O interfaces have expanded distributed processing. Typical interfaces include PID (proportional-integral-derivative)   controllers, network, CANbus, fieldbus, ASCII communication, positioning, host computer, and language modules (e.g., BASIC, Pascal).    Mechanical design improvements have included rugged input/output enclosures and input/output systems that have made the terminal an integral unit.    Special interfaces have allowed certain devices to be connected directly to the controller. Typical interfaces include thermocouples, strain gauges, and fast-response inputs.    Peripheral equipment has improved operator interface techniques, and system documentation is now a standard part of the system. All of these hardware enhancements have led to the development of programmable controller families. These families consist of a product line that ranges from very small “microcontrollers,” with as few as 10 I/O points, to very large and sophisticated PLCs, with as many as 8000 I/O points and 128000 words of memory. These family members, using common I/O systems and programming peripherals, can interface to a local communication network. The family concept is an important cost-saving development for users. Like hardware advances, software advances, such as the ones listed below, have led to more powerful PLCs:    PLCs have incorporated object-oriented programming tools and multiple languages based on the IEC 1131-3 standard.    Small PLCs have been provided with powerful instructions, which extend the area of application for these small controllers.    High-level languages, such as BASIC and C, have been implemented in some controllers’ modules to provide greater programming flexibility when communicating with peripheral devices and manipulating data.    Advanced functional block instructions have been implemented for ladder diagram instruction sets to provide enhanced software capability using simple programming commands.    Diagnostics and fault detection have been expanded from simple system diagnostics, which diagnose controller malfunctions, to include machine diagnostics, which diagnose failures or malfunctions of the controlled machine or process.    Floating-point math has made it possible to perform complex calculations in control applications that require gauging, balancing, and statistical computation.    Data handling and manipulation instructions have been improved and simplified to accommodate complex control and data acquisition applications that involve storage, tracking, and retrieval of large amounts of data. www.intechopen.com  Matlab - Modelling, Programming and Simulations214   Programmable controllers are now mature control systems offering many more capabilities than were ever anticipated. They are capable of communicating with other control systems, providing production reports, scheduling production, and diagnosing their own failures and those of the machine or process. These enhancements have made programmable controllers important contributors in meeting today’s demands for higher quality and productivity. Despite the fact that programmable controllers have become much more sophisticated, they still retain the simplicity and ease of operation that was intended in their srcinal design. 2.2 Programmable Logic Controllers and the Future The future of programmable controllers relies not only on the continuation of new product developments, but also on the integration of PLCs with other control and factory management equipment. PLCs are being incorporated, through networks, into computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) systems, combining their power and resources with numerical controls, robots, CAD/CAM systems, PCs, management information systems, and hierarchical computer-based systems. There is no doubt that programmable controllers will play a substantial role in the factory of the future. New advances in PLC technology include features such as graphic user interfaces (GUIs), better operator interface (human-machine interfaces or HMIs), and more human-oriented man/machine interfaces (such as voice modules). They also include the development of interfaces that allow communication with equipment, hardware, and software that supports artificial intelligence, such as fuzzy logic controllers, etc. 2.3 Mechanical Configurations for PLC Systems There are four common types of mechanical design for PLC systems:    Single-board PLCs or open frame PLCs.      Compact PLCs  or single-box PLCs  (sometimes referred to as a brick PLCs  or shoe - box PLCs ).    Semi-modularized PLCs .    Modularized PLCs , modular PLCs  or rack types . On the one hand, single board PLCs  are basic PLCs available on a single printed circuit board. They are totally self-contained (normally with the exception of a power supply) and, when installed in a system, they are simply mounted inside a control cabinet on threaded standoffs [6]. Single board PLCs are very inexpensive, easy to program, small, and consume little power, but, generally speaking, they do not have a large number of inputs and outputs, and have a somewhat limited instruction set. They are best suited to small, relatively simple control applications. On the other hand, PLCs are also available housed in a single case with all input and output, power and control connection points located on the single unit. In this case, they are known as compact PLCs . This kind of programmable controllers is generally chosen according to available program memory and required number and voltage of inputs and outputs to suit the application. The compact type is commonly used for small programmable controllers and is supplied as an integral compact package complete with power supply, processor, memory, and input/output units. Typically such a PLC might have 6, 8, 12, or 24 inputs and 4, 8, or 16 outputs and a memory that can store some 300 to 1000 instructions. www.intechopen.com  A Matlab/Simulink Framework for PLC Controlled Processes215   Some compact systems have the capacity to be extended to cope with more inputs and outputs by linking input/output boxes to them. This kind of PLCs is known as semi-modularized units [7].These systems generally have an expansion port (an interconnection socket) which will allow the addition of specialized units such as high speed counters and analog input and output units or additional discrete inputs or outputs. These expansion units are either plugged directly into the main case or connected to it with ribbon cable or other suitable cable. Finally, systems with larger numbers of inputs and outputs and more sophisticated units, with a wider array of options, are likely to be modular and designed to fit in racks ( modularized PLCs ) [8]. The modular type consists of separate modules for power supply, processor, and the like, which are often mounted on rails within a metal cabinet. The rack type can be used for all sizes of programmable controllers and has the various functional units packaged in individual modules that can be plugged into sockets in a base rack. The mix of modules required for a particular purpose is decided by the user and the appropriate ones then plugged into the rack. Thus it is comparatively easy to expand the number of I/O connections by simply adding more input/output modules or to expand the memory by adding more memory units. The power and data interfaces for modules in a rack are provided by copper conductors in the backplane of the rack. When modules are slid into a rack, they engage with connectors in the backplane. 2.4 Scopes of Applications and Sizes for PLC Systems Prior to evaluating the system requirements, the designer should understand the different ranges of programmable controller products and the typical features found within each range. This understanding will enable the designer to quickly identify the type of product that comes closest to matching the requirements of the application. Fig. 2 illustrates PLC product ranges divided into five major areas with overlapping boundaries. The basis for this product segmentation is the number of possible inputs and outputs the system can accommodate (I/O count), the amount of memory available for the application program, and the general hardware and software of the system structure. As the I/O count increases, the complexity and cost of the system also increase. Similarly, as the system complexity increases, the memory capacity, variety of I/O modules, and capabilities of the instruction set increase as well. Thus, PLC market or their scopes of applications can be segmented into five groups [5]:    Micro PLCs.    Small PLCs.    Medium PLCs.    Large PLCs.    Very large PLCs. www.intechopen.com
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